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    #1

    more himself than he is

    The young man reveres men of genius, because, to speak truly, they are more himself than he is.
    (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

    This means: men of genius are more himself than the young man is.
    But how do I understand "be more himself than someone"?
    Thanks.

    (oops, the wrong title of the thread)
    Last edited by Vik-Nik-Sor; 06-Feb-2014 at 22:34.


  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: more himself than he is

    I've never been good at poetry, but I have changed your thread title for you.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: more himself than he is

    Here's my reading, but I could be wrong without more context. Also, I'm not that familiar with Emerson. If Oscar Wilde had said it, it could mean the following: He reveres geniuses. He thinks of himself as a genius, but he's not really. So, the real geniuses are more like what he thinks of himself than he actually is.

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    #4

    Re: more himself than he is

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Here's my reading, but I could be wrong without more context. Also, I'm not that familiar with Emerson. If Oscar Wilde had said it, it could mean the following: He reveres geniuses. He thinks of himself as a genius, but he's not really. So, the real geniuses are more like what he thinks of himself than he actually is.
    Here is the context:
    The breadth of the problem is great, for the poet is representative. He stands among partial men for the complete man, and apprises us not of his wealth, but of the common wealth. The young man reveres men of genius, because, to speak truly, they are more himself than he is. They receive of the soul as he also receives, but they more.


  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: more himself than he is

    The last sentence of the new text tends to strengthen my conviction.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: more himself than he is

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The last sentence of the new text tends to strengthen my conviction.
    I agree with your interpretation, but I have to say that Emerson found a strange way to express it.

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